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WorldCat Local

Apr - 24 - 2007
Nicole C. Engard

I heard about this at CIL this year, but hadn’t been following the news. I just read a very interesting article over at Information Today about OCLC’s WorldCat Local project.

In a Web-dominated world, where Amazon, Google Book Search, and other Net newbies labor hourly to identify every readable tome, all librarians face the challenge of finding copies of any or all of those books for patrons. If successful, a new pilot project from OCLC (www.oclc.org) could supply librarians everywhere with a "come hell or high water, we're going to find that !$#@# book" service. The core of the service consists of a triple-tiered display of catalog search results from the local library, then from any consortia, and finally from the whole WorldCat. Relying on the expanding content collection in OCLC's WorldCat.org (www.worldcat.org), the new service even reaches millions of periodical articles, plus government reports, medical scholarship, and educational material. Initially, the pilot project will include four university, four public, and two high school libraries, plus one state and one museum library and two library consortia, to provide a well-rounded test bed for the project. Plans are underway to add links to the most accessible content, i.e., open access (OA) and public domain collections.

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